Things in Your Kitchen Cabinets to Get Rid of Right Now – For an Organized, Clutter-Free Space

Keeping your kitchen organized can feel like an uphill battle. Over time, cabinets and drawers become overloaded with extraneous items that just end up taking up valuable space. Getting rid of some of these unnecessary kitchen items can help streamline your space and make it feel instantly more orderly and clutter-free.

Here is a comprehensive look at common things in your kitchen cabinets and drawers that you can likely get rid of right now. By purging these items, you can transform your kitchen into a clean, streamlined, and functional workspace.

Expired Food Items and Spices

One of the best ways to declutter your kitchen is to go through your cabinets, shelves, and refrigerator and look for food items that are past their prime. This includes:

  • Expired packaged foods: Check the expiration dates on boxes of crackers, cereal, baking mixes, etc. If they are past the date, toss them out.
  • Stale baking ingredients: Old baking powder and yeast lose potency over time. Replace if you haven’t used them recently.
  • Wilted produce: Get rid of fruits and veggies that are moldy, mushy or dried out.
  • Outdated spices and seasonings: Spices lose their flavor and aroma over the years. Smell yours and replace any that smell musty.
  • Condiments past their prime: Toss outdated ketchup, soy sauce and salad dressings. They degrade over time.

Regularly monitoring expiration dates and clearing out expired items ensures you have ingredients at peak freshness and makes room for new items.

Infrequently Used Appliances and Kitchen Tools

Many of us have appliances and tools in our kitchens that seemed useful when we bought them, but rarely or never actually get used. Consider getting rid of:

  • Appliances like waffle makers, panini presses, egg poachers and ice cream makers that you haven’t touched in a year.
  • Novelty kitchen tools for very specific tasks, like avocado slicers, apple corers and corn huskers.
  • Extra or duplicate tools and utensils. Keep the ones you actually use.
  • Low-quality cookware. Upgrade to sturdier pots and pans.

Storing unused appliances and tools just takes up cabinet space. Focus on keeping only essential items you regularly rely on for everyday cooking.

Disorganized Tupperware and Food Storage Containers

Plastic food storage containers easily accumulate and get jumbled over time. To get organized:

  • Toss any containers with cracks, stains or missing lids. They aren’t usable.
  • Get rid of sets you rarely use for meal prepping or leftovers. Focus on your favorites.
  • If you have an overstock, pick the best matching containers and recycle the rest.
  • Use uniform containers and lids for an orderly look.

Editing down ensures you have containers you actually need and makes it easier to neatly stack and access them.

Messy Cabinets and Drawers

Straightening up disorganized cabinets and drawers helps make your kitchen more orderly and efficient. Go through each one and:

  • Toss random instruction manuals and other paperwork.
  • Get rid of chipped, stained or rusted pans and bakeware.
  • Remove unused pots and pans to open up space.
  • Recycle scattered plastic grocery bags.
  • Empty junk drawers and sort out what’s useful. Toss the rest.
  • Neatly group like items together using organizers.

Decluttering transforms messy cabinet chaos into a more streamlined workspace.

Out-of-Date Cookbooks and Magazines

If your cabinets contain a stockpile of old cookbooks and cooking magazines, it may be time to sort through them. Consider removing:

  • Cookbooks you never reference from decades past.
  • Dog-eared magazines with dated recipes and advice.
  • Irrelevant “fad” diet books from years ago.
  • Duplicate copies of books you already own.
  • Anything damaged, stained or with missing pages.

Keep only current cookbooks and magazines you actually cook from and recycle the rest. This frees up space for healthier and more relevant choices.

Random Plastic Grocery Bags

It’s easy for plastic grocery bags to accumulate quickly. To get them under control:

  • Use up all the bags you currently have storing food in your pantry or freezer.
  • Stop stockpiling more than you need. Only keep about 10-20 on hand at a time.
  • Bring excess bags back to grocery stores where they are often recycled.
  • For environmental reasons, try switching to reusable shopping bags.

Limiting your plastic bag stash prevents a messy buildup and cuts down on waste.

Mismatched Food Containers and Lids

Mismatched plastic food containers with missing or incorrect lids can clutter cupboards. Solve this by:

  • Finding the correctly matching lids for your containers or vice versa.
  • Getting rid of any containers missing lids, along with orphan lids.
  • Recycling any stained or cracked containers.
  • Buying a uniform set of containers/lids for a streamlined look.

Having properly matched lids and containers keeps your cabinet organized and makes containers easily accessible when needed.

Takeout Menus and Leftover Packaging

Don’t let takeout menus, soy sauce packets, and other takeout paraphernalia accumulate. Toss any:

  • Menus and flyers from restaurants you don’t regularly order from.
  • Chopsticks, utensils, soy sauce packets and duck sauce from old orders.
  • Outdated menus with wrong prices or info. Check print dates.
  • Random plastic utensils from old deliveries or frozen meals.

Keeping just the current takeout information you need eliminates unnecessary clutter.

Multiple Sets of Dishes and Glassware

Having multiples of dishes, bowls, cups and glassware can overload cabinets. Streamline by:

  • Keeping only one set of basics like plates, bowls, and cups.
  • Donating excess dish sets you never or rarely use.
  • Giving away chipped, cracked, or mismatched pieces.
  • Storing sentimental sets out of the kitchen to free up space.

One coordinated set of dishes you use regularly is all your kitchen truly needs.

Rarely Used Large Appliances

Bulky appliances like bread machines, pressure cookers and juicers can hog counter and cabinet space if you use them infrequently. Consider:

  • Donating rarely used large appliances to declutter your kitchen.
  • Storing little-used appliances in more out-of-the-way areas.
  • Leaving out only appliances you use daily like your coffeemaker.

This frees up room for items you rely on more often.

Take Inventory of Your Kitchen

Now that you’ve purged unused and unneeded items, take stock of what you have left in your newly decluttered space.

  • Note kitchen tools or appliances needed to prepare meals you cook regularly. Buy any missing items.
  • Check for enough cabinet and drawer space for all your essentials. Add organizers as needed.
  • Design an organized layout with cooking staples easily accessible. Store less used items up high or in the back.
  • Map out optimal storage spots for dishes, pots and pans. Group like items together.
  • Assign a home for pantry items, spices, baking supplies, etc. Keep things tidy.

An organized kitchen with a place for everything streamlines cooking and makes your time spent there more enjoyable. Maintain your clutter-free space by putting items away properly after each use. Only keep essentials you actually rely on and purge unused items regularly. Enjoy the perks of a decluttered kitchen!

Frequently Asked Questions About Decluttering Your Kitchen

What are some benefits of decluttering your kitchen cabinets and drawers?

Some key benefits of decluttering kitchen cabinets and drawers include:

  • More efficient use of space to fit items you regularly use
  • Reduced clutter and a more streamlined, orderly appearance
  • Easier to locate cooking tools, dishes and food items
  • Removes items that are expired, unusable or unnecessary
  • Safer kitchen environment with less clutter to cause accidents
  • More enjoyable cooking experience in an organized workspace

How often should you purge old food from your pantry and fridge?

A good rule of thumb is to check expiration and best-by dates on foods in your pantry and fridge about once per month. Toss anything past its prime to ensure you always have fresh ingredients on hand and to prevent food waste. Also get rid of leftovers older than 3-5 days.

What are signs that spices and seasonings need to be replaced?

Spices that are several years old, have faded color or a dull scent should be replaced. Ground spices lose potency faster than whole spices. If your dishes are lacking flavor from spices, it’s a sign they are past their prime.

What types of containers work best for organizing cabinets and drawers?

Clear, stackable, uniform containers are ideal for organizing cabinets and drawers. Matching containers with secure lids allow you to neatly store and see contents. Labeled containers help identify what’s inside. Divided turntables also efficiently organize space.

Should you keep instruction manuals for kitchen appliances you own?

It’s a good idea to hold onto instruction manuals for major appliances like your oven, refrigerator or dishwasher in case you need them for repairs. But manuals for small appliances like food processors or mixers can often be found online if needed and don’t need to be kept.


A cluttered, disorganized kitchen can make cooking a stressful and inefficient experience. By regularly sorting through your cabinets, drawers and pantry to remove unnecessary and expired items, you can transform your kitchen into a clean, streamlined workspace. Purging unused appliances, cookware, food containers and other items simplifies your cooking environment. Follow organize kitchen guidelines like assigning homes for supplies and grouping like items to maintain order. With a decluttered kitchen stocked only with essentials you regularly use, you can enjoy cooking delicious meals in a tidy and productive environment.